Wednesday 28 September 2016

Beef farmer wins top prize at Independent awards night

Published 21/05/2016 | 02:30

Tom Dunne from Co Laois receives the Farmer of the Year award from Zurich’s head of agri-business Michael Doyle at the Farmer of the Year Awards in the Ballsbridge Hotel sponsored by Zurich and the Irish Independent. Photo: Douglas O’Connor
Tom Dunne from Co Laois receives the Farmer of the Year award from Zurich’s head of agri-business Michael Doyle at the Farmer of the Year Awards in the Ballsbridge Hotel sponsored by Zurich and the Irish Independent. Photo: Douglas O’Connor
Joan Rothwell, from Tinahealy, Co Wicklow, with her daughter-in-law Suzanne at the Farming Independent Farmer of the Year Awards in Ballsbridge Hotel. Photo: Douglas O’Connor
Friday 20 May 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Farmer of the year awards at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4. L to R: Terri Clarke and Shona Saville.
Friday 20 May 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Farmer of the year awards at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4. Mark Duffy, Monaghan, Alternative Farmer of the Year.
Friday 20 May 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Farmer of the year awards at the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4. L to R: Lizzy Snelgrove and ErinnaHannon, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan.

An organic beef farmer from Laois has been crowned Ireland's best, during a glitzy awards ceremony.

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Tom Dunne was named the Zurich Farm Insurance Farming Independent Farmer of the Year after he beat off stiff competition from every county.

Along with seven other category winners, Mr Dunne (52) walked away with a cheque for €2,500 for his superb beefing operation that produces year-round supplies of organic beef for Cahir-based Good Herdsman. In addition, the Grand Prix winner will receive insurance to the value of €4,000 with Zurich General Insurance.

Organic producers featured prominently among the finalists, with Monaghan's Mark Duffy winning the alternative category with his organic egg and cattle enterprise.

Farming Independent editor Louise Hogan said the quality of the contestants continued to "exceed all expectations".

Zurich's Michael Doyle said: "Agriculture continues at the forefront of the economy and there is great positivity around the industry".

Irish Independent

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